RCPC's Church Library
With thanks to Eric and Diane Lawson
Education has always been a fundamental priority for Presbyterians. John Calvin believed that faith and learning go together, the clergy needs to be educated to write their sermons, and the congregation needs to be literate to understand them. For him, education was not just for the elites, as it always had been, but for everyone, leading to the founding of schools and colleges wherever followers migrated. In 1746, Presbyterians founded the College of New Jersey, later to become Princeton University, and by the beginning of the Civil War, a quarter of all of the colleges in the United States had been founded by them. Within the Presbyterian hierarchy, our clergy is classified as teaching elders, and Christian education is at the forefront of what our churches seek to do.
So, it should come as no surprise that you will find libraries in most, if not all, Presbyterian churches. Its mission is to provide access, for clergy and laypeople alike, to information and learning resources. At their best, libraries can be an integral part of both a church’s educational program and the personal growth of its members.
From Betty Merritt’s fine history of the early years of our church, we know that RCPC’s library was started in 1963, and the first church librarian was Juanita Morris, who served for five years. While there is little available information about all of the people who have served since then, or about the development of the facility and collection, we know that the library has continually provided resources for the teaching, study, and devotional needs of this congregation.
In recent years, thanks to the leadership of Debbie Miller, Anne Larimer, Ann McCallum, and others before them, our library collection has been expanded to include books to satisfy practically any interest - from fiction to biographies to “how to” to health to history, sports, and the arts. Easily arranged by corresponding colors, we encourage everyone to take advantage of what we have to offer.